The Monroe County courthouse red-tailed hawk beat, which The B Square has been covering since Earth Day this year, has been quiet for a few weeks.
Before Saturday (May 28) the last sighting of the hawk had been on May 9. On that day the bird took up is customary post on top of the courthouse weathervane, then flew off in its nonchalant spectacular way.
But on Saturday morning, The B Square was able to document what appears to be nest-build activity by the hawk, in a tree on the courthouse grounds.
Wildlife drama unfolded Saturday evening at Miller-Showers Park, which is wedged between Walnut Street and College Avenue on Bloomington’s north side.
In the early evening hours, a great blue heron flew in and landed near the east bank of the southernmost stormwater detention pond, towards the spillway to the next lower pond.
From there the bird worked its way along the bank southward, catching and eating at least one pretty big fish, which looked like a largemouth bass.
The great blue endured repeated harassment from a female red-winged blackbird, which would flutter about, at times landing on the bigger bird’s back. The great blue was unperturbed.
Also counted as part of the evening’s wildlife inventory at Miller-Showers Park was a mother mallard, with at least four ducklings in tow. A muskrat carved a V-shape in the water as it swam along the surface from north to south across the pond.
A Sunday afternoon visit to Miller-Showers Park on the north side of Bloomington, wedged between College Avenue and Walnut Street, confirmed that great blue herons are carnivores. Winds were out of the west at 16 mph with a temperature around 67 F degrees.
More photos below. They’re displayed in chronological order. Just after The B Square arrived at Miller-Showers, the heron flew from the southernmost pool down to the lower (northernmost) pool.